Date: c. 1995
Description: This postcard showcases different areas of a complex known as the KD Stockyards Station, a station in the stockyards with a unique history. KD Stockyards Station (or KD Station) was originally part of a meatpacking plant located in the Sioux City stockyards area called Midland Packing Company. Midland began in 1920 and in its time was considered one of the most innovative packing houses in the world. Their plant at 2001 Leech Avenue had state-of-the-art refrigeration technologies and meat processes, and their rail station, KD Station, had a prime location on the railroad. Unfortunately, five months after the company’s dedication, Midland was forced to close after the company leaders became involved in a major financial scandal involving oversold stock. The plant was quickly taken over by the industry giant Swift & Company in 1924. The plant ran smoothly as part of Swift & Company for many years, until the decline of Sioux City’s meat industry forced the company to shut down in 1974.
After Swift closed the plant, it was purchased by local businessman Kermit Lohry. Lohry saw the plant as a testament to two industries that were the lifeblood of Sioux City in their time: railroads and the stockyards. He wanted to create a shopping and entertainment center that commemorated these industries and offered a new way for Sioux Cityans to enjoy their history. Investors were unwilling to support the idea, so Lohry dove into the project with almost no financial backing. He began the long, arduous process of clearing the ice that had collected in the freezers and turning old meat processing equipment into useful materials. Meat hooks decorated shop walls, meat scales turned into restaurant tables, and hog ramps were converted into storefronts. At its peak KD Station held over fifty shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. In 2004 a fire broke out in the upper floors and the damage made the station structurally unsound. The businesses were removed and most of the building was demolished in 2010.
Donor: Sioux City Public Library